Resource Teachers' Perceptions of Student Evaluation Components of Special Education Classes
by Rhonda Robertson

SSTA Research Centre Report #92-11: 34 pages, $11.

Rationale for the Project The purpose of this graduate student study was to determine the perceptions of resource teachers in the province of Saskatchewan of the core classes in special education offered at the University of Regina.

Questionnaire results were examined to determine: significant differences in perceived value of the core classes, in providing background knowledge in the area of student evaluation, as related to the demands of the field; indications of the degree of self efficacy in evaluation experienced by the respondents due to the background knowledge provided by the core classes; and the degree to which various stakeholders in the educational system were perceived as sources of impetus for change in the area of student evaluation.

Background Information
Need for the Study
Purpose of the Study
The Focus of the Research
Research Review
Methodology
The Instrument
Data Collection
The Sample
The Procedure
Conclusions
References
Appendices

Back to: Students - Diverse Needs


The SSTA Research Centre grants permission to reproduce up to three copies of each report for personal use. Each copy must acknowledge the author and the SSTA Research Centre as the source. A complete and authorized copy of each report is available from the SSTA Research Centre.
The opinions and recommendations expressed in this report are those of the author and may not be in agreement with SSTA officers or trustees, but are offered as being worthy of consideration by those responsible for making decisions.


Rationale for the Project

The need for a match between course content of teacher preservice education and realities of the field provided the impetus for this study. The importance of evaluation within the context of education for all students has been well established (Bachor, 1990; Gorman, 1989; Marozas & May, 1988). The importance should necessarily be reflected in teacher preparation. This study addressed the need to determine the extent to which there is an appropriate inclusion of content concerned with the evaluation of special needs students within a specific teacher preservice program at the University of Regina in the core classes in special education.

The education system is one of the component parts of a society. The value of an educational system is judged by how well it prepares the individuals for their participation in society. An evaluation of the worth of the education system is performed informally by its consumers and by those who contribute through public monies to its upkeep. A more formal evaluation, of how effectively the education system prepares those it serves to take their place within the society, is done by the individuals or agencies in charge of education. The purpose of such evaluation is to effect improvement or to maintain performance.


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Background Information

The effectiveness of any system depends upon the degree of expertise of the individuals delivering the services. How well those individuals will be able to perform the expected tasks of their position and bring about the valued results will depend largely on how well they were prepared for their roles within the system. Should the tasks required involve services to a particular group of individuals, for whom specialized skills are necessary in order to accommodate unique abilities or disabilities, the issue of preservice training of the individual delivering the service escalates in importance.

Teachers, as part of the education system, evaluate the educational progress of their students in order to determine how closely they approximate the standards that have been ascertained as appropriate. Parents and students, as well as school personnel, wish to know the progress that has been made. This is done formally, through standardized test instruments, or informally, through teacher-prepared assessment techniques.

In evaluating student work, a teacher may choose diagnostic, formative, or summative evaluation, depending on the information sought. The method by which the evaluation is effected may be quantitative or qualitative, depending upon the type of information required for the purpose of the evaluation. Whether the evaluation will involve formal or informal instruments is yet another factor that is also directly related to the information to be collected.

To a large extent, the nature of the learner will influence the type of decisions made concerning the evaluation. The learner's educational needs will dictate the purpose, the type, the method, and the techniques of the evaluation. The teacher will make the necessary decisions based on a cumulative foundation of training and experience.

Special needs children within the school population pose a greater challenge to teachers in assessing and evaluating the progress that is made within the educational system. Special needs students are defined within this study as all students who require adaptations or modifications to their learning environment. Many of the decisions regarding the purpose, type, method, and techniques of the evaluation change significantly when a teacher is attempting to evaluate the progress or growth of special needs students. Teachers need to have within their professional background specialized training and knowledge in evaluation.

If resource teachers are required to take certain prescribed classes in order to be able to teach students with special needs, the content of the individual special education classes is of great importance. They should be structured to reflect the realities of the field faced by such teachers. When student progress is the desired result of the instructional strategies employed in the classroom, the teacher must know how to evaluate the progress made by exceptional children. Course content for teacher preparation should contain appropriate sections pertaining to the evaluation process specifically tailored to special needs students.


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Need for the Study

The need for a match between course content of teacher preservice education and realities of the field provided the impetus for this study. The importance of evaluation within the context of education for all students has been well established (Bachor, 1990; Gorman, 1989; Marozas & May, 1988). The importance should necessarily be reflected in teacher preparation. This study addressed the need to determine the extent to which there is an appropriate inclusion of content concerned with the evaluation of special needs students within a specific teacher preservice program at the University of Regina in the core classes in special education.


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Purpose of the Study

This study forms one part of a larger, broader study involving a review of the classes in special education at the University of Regina. It is one of a number of simultaneous studies that were to gather information from a variety of groups having a direct interest in the area of educational psychology. On the basis of this information, future implications for curricular development and change in those classes would be indicated. In order to provide future direction in curricula in special education classes, each of the studies was to approach a separate, yet related, set of questions. The set of research questions pertaining to this particular study follow.


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The Focus of the Research

Four key research questions were asked in this study:

1. How well did the core classes in special education prepare resource teachers for the key issues and concepts within the area of student

evaluation?

2. How satisfied are practicing resource teachers with their own

effectiveness in the area of student evaluation?

3. From which stakeholder groups in education do resource teachers

perceive an impetus for change?

4. Do the respondents perceive change is needed in the area of student

evaluation within the context of field demands?


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Research Review

In a presentation sponsored by the Canadian Education Association's Advisory Committee on Educational Research, Podrebarac (1985), of the Ontario Ministry of Education, listed six principles that are necessary for effective evaluation practices: evaluation should be decision oriented, instruction oriented, continuous, comprehensive, realistic, and involve a variety of techniques. These principles are reiterated many times by various authors (Cornett, 1982; Russell & Blake, 1988; Small, 1988; Strathe & Krajewski, 1982) as contributing to the best practices of evaluation.

Natriello (1987) identified four generic functions that the evaluation process is thought to serve. The first is certification, which refers to “the assurance that a student has attained a certain level of accomplishment or mastery (p.157). Second is selection, which entails the identification of students or groups of students to be recommended or permitted to enter or continue along certain educational and occupational paths (p.157). Direction is the third use of evaluation processes and refers to “communicat[ing] the specific desires of evaluators to those being evaluated and allowing evaluators to engage in diagnosis and further planning (p.157). The fourth, and last, function is motivation, which “entails engaging those being evaluated in the tasks at hand (p.157).

The six principles for effective evaluation practices (Podrebarac, 1987) form a guide for practice that can be directed toward each of the four generic functions of evaluation (Natriello, 1987). In doing so, there is a context formed for the student evaluation process that puts the numerous components into perspective. Regular education teachers will use evaluation primarily for the functions of certification, direction, and motivation. The resource teacher, with the clientele group of special needs students, will deal with all four of the functions of evaluation, with an added emphasis on the selection function. Within all of these functions teachers have a need to be aware of the six principles for effective evaluative practice.

Evaluation is a process, not an event (Haire, 1990) and as such will have a number of interrelated and interdependent components. This is corroborated by Gronlund (1985) who said evaluation "includes a number of techniques that are indispensable to the teacher...However, evaluation is not merely a collection of techniques; it is a continuous process that underlies all good teaching and learning" (p.3). Saskatchewan Education (1990a) has provided a guiding framework for teachers concerned with the evaluation process in its new Mathematics curriculum guide for Core Curriculum. This framework organizes the components of the evaluation process into four phases: preparation, assessment, evaluation, and teacher reflection. Each phase has within it distinct elements that relate to and affect the other phases in the process. Through each of the phases, teachers are involved in making decisions that will guide their actions in the evaluation of their students. The six principles for effective evaluation are found within this framework. A description of the phases and the decisions teachers make in moving through the process of student evaluation follow.

The preparation phase, according to the Saskatchewan Education model (1990a), serves as the foundation phase for the evaluation process and contains a number of considerations that may be clustered around the areas of context, content, and administrative factors. In answering the question 'Why am I evaluating?' (Haire, 1990) teachers will address a number of preliminary decisions regarding their evaluation plans. The purpose of the evaluation, whether diagnostic, formative, or summative, will determine the course of procedures that follow.

Salvia and Ysseldyke (1981) made an important distinction between testing and assessment that teachers need to bear in mind. Testing means "exposing a person to a particular set of questions in order to obtain a score. That score is the end product of testing" (p.3). While testing may be a part of assessment, assessment is a "multifaceted process that involves far more than the administration of a test....we consider the way [students] perform a variety of tasks in a variety of settings or contexts, the meaning of their performances in terms of the total functioning of the individual, and likely explanations for those performances" (pp.3-4).

The assessment phase, according to the Saskatchewan Education model (1990a), involves the actual construction of, or the choosing of, the assessment tools and the decisions as to where and when the student evaluation instruments would be administered. It is during this phase, too, that the assessment instruments would be administered to or used with the students. The collection of student data is the culmination of the assessment phase.

Student information collected during the assessment phase is interpreted and reported during the evaluation phase, as defined by Saskatchewan Education (1990a). The information obtained by the teacher will be compared to the standards or criteria set earlier, to determine the level of success with which the student completed the task. The purposes of certification, selection, direction, and motivation may, during this phase, suggest an analysis of mastery, classification, progress, and continued engagement (Natriello, 1987). McLoughlin and Lewis (1986) outlined a series of questions to serve as a guide for the analysis of student data for special needs children:

1. What are the levels of academic achievement, strengths, and

weaknesses in school learning?

2. What are the levels of intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour?

3. What is the level of development of specific learning abilities and

strategies?

4. What is the status of classroom behaviour and social-emotional

development?

These questions were intended to aid the teacher in establishing the broad parameters of the learning profile of the student, after which more academically-oriented questions may be asked:

1. What is the level of reading achievement, strengths, and weaknesses?

2. What is the level of mathematical achievement, strengths, and

weaknesses?

3. What is the level of oral language development, strengths, and

weaknesses?

4. What is the level of written language development, strengths,

and weaknesses?

The fourth stage in the Saskatchewan Education model (1990a) of the process of student evaluation is that of teacher reflection. The teacher reflection phase involves the teacher in considering the process of student evaluation that has just occurred. Reflective questions listed for teacher use in this phase by Saskatchewan Education (1990a) in the Elementary Mathematics Curriculum are as follows:

Was there sufficient probing of student knowledge,

understanding, skills, attitudes, and processes? Were

the assessment strategies appropriate for the student

information required? Were the assessment conditions

conducive to the best possible student performance?

Were the assessment strategies fair/appropriate for

the levels of student abilities? Was the range of

information collected from students sufficient to make

interpretations and evaluate progress? Were the results

of the evaluation meaningfully reported to students,

parents, and other educators as appropriate? (p. 24).

This phase allows teachers to hone the evaluation skills they already have in order to develop their expertise further.

Bachor & Crealock (1986) list among current issues in special education: mainstreaming, the non-categorical approach, and shared responsibility. All of these issues are having an effect on the evaluation of special needs students within the educational system in Saskatchewan. This effect is being felt by both the regular education teacher and the Resource Teacher.

The specification of certain traits or qualifications for teachers who work with special needs individuals is not a new concept. Ray (1852) described the qualifications expected of attendants who worked with the insane. Even though there were no certified resource teachers at the time, the description provided by Ray has marked similarities to the current expectations of teachers of special education students:

They must manifest patience under the most trying

emergencies, control of temper under the strongest

provocations, and a steady perseverance in the

performance of duty, disagreeable and repulsive

as it oftentimes is. They must be kind and considerate,

ever ready to sacrifice their own comfort to the welfare

of their charge, cleanly in all their ways, and unsaving

of any pains necessary to render their charge so also.

In all respects, their deportment and demeanor must be

precisely such as refined and cultivated persons have

indicated as most appropriate to the management of

the insane. In short, they are expected to possess a

combination of virtues which, in ordinary walks of life,

would render their possessor one of the shining

ornaments of the race (pp.33-34).

Due to the demands of special needs children and the changing manner in which society has perceived them over the past hundred years, more attention has been paid to the academic qualifications of teachers of persons with disabilities rather than relying solely on the teacher’s internal virtues. In requiring academic standards, a description of the role of the special educator was needed. Wiederholt, Hammill, and Brown (1983) described the role of the resource teacher as consisting of three functions: assessing the educational needs of students, preparing and implementing instructional programs for them, and consulting with teachers, parents, and others about matters that relate to their education. Throughout the literature reviewed, a common thread was the requirement that special education teachers be able to assess the educational needs of students requiring their services.

With the demands of the field changing regarding the skills and competencies required for resource teachers, an accompanying change will be required of the universities to ensure appropriate preparation of special education teachers. Teachers, whether in the regular classroom or in the position of special educator, require sufficient training in the area that serves as the base for instructional planning -- that of assessment and evaluation. Berliner (1984) stated "clearly, it is impossible even to discuss effective teaching without discussing the choices of content, timing, and testing that teachers must make" (p.95). In order to ascertain the extent to which present teacher preparation courses reflect in their content the matters which concern teachers in the field, it is important to seek an assessment and evaluation of such courses by resource teachers who are currently attempting to meet the demands of their positions. It is to this point that this study was directed.


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Methodology

The Instrument

Application for approval by the University of Regina Ethics Review Committee was made in February, 1990. A description of the study, the methods and procedures used to gather the information from the participants, and the purposes to which the information would be used was provided. Ethics approval was granted on March 21 of 1990 (Appendix A).

The instrument used to collect the data was developed by the writer specifically for use in this study and can be found in Appendix B. Initially, a search of the literature was made to establish a series of possible questions that addressed the components of the process of student evaluation. These components were found to be incorporated into the process of student evaluation, set out in the philosophy of Saskatchewan Education (1990a) and incorporated implicitly and explicitly into its curriculum guides. This process of

From this initial pool of questions, a sorting procedure was followed whereby questions were cross-checked for redundancy and for their relevancy to the intent of the study. The final selection of questions reflected an attempt to establish a relationship between the training those teachers, now employed as resource teachers, had received in the evaluation of student progress through the special education core classes at the University of Regina and how effectively the training had prepared them for the evaluation demands of their positions in the field.

Once the questionnaire was in draft form, it was given to members of two divisions within Saskatchewan Education to be reviewed. Four members of the Evaluation and Student Services Division and three members of the Special Education Branch of the Curriculum Division were asked to respond to the questionnaire and to make comments on the content, the format, and the intent. Revisions were made to the questionnaire based on the comments received from these individuals and the revised copy was returned to them for further review. The questionnaire was also reviewed by members of a research group at the University of Regina. Comments were received from the group members and added to the pool of comments guiding the revision of the instrument.


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Data Collection

The questionnaires were mailed to teacher respondents who had graduated from the University of Regina in the years 1985 to 1989 and who had completed the four core classes in Special Education from the University of Regina. The four core classes targeted for responses were: Educational Psychology (Epsy) 223, Introduction to Special Education; Epsy 323, Classroom Diagnosis of Exceptional Children; Epsy 324, Prescriptive Teaching; and Epsy 328, Speech and Language Development.


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The Sample

Fifty-six teachers met the criteria for inclusion in the survey. Their names were taken from the University of Regina list of students who had graduated in the years 1985 to 1989 and who had completed the four core classes in special education. The names were cross-checked with the names of teachers presently in the position of resource teacher in Saskatchewan schools, as obtained from the records of the Special Education Branch of Saskatchewan Education.


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The Procedure

All respondents were informed, in the Letter of Transmittal that accompanied the questionnaire, of the intent of the study, of their role in supplying valued information, and the purposes for which their information would be used (Appendix C). March 31, 1990 was given as the requested date for the return of the questionnaires. On April fourth a second letter was sent including a second copy of the questionnaire (Appendix D). The researcher chose the date of April 18 as a reasonable date to proceed and by that date 35 had been returned. The rationale for this date rested on the fact that one month from the original mailing date had been allowed for respondents to return the questionnaires. If questionnaires had not been returned within that time, it was assumed that they would not be returned.

Subjects were asked to respond to a questionnaire consisting of 58 questions using a six-point Likert-type scale. Responses to each single question, or each sub-item of questions with multiple parts, were recorded according to the rating they received.

All quantitative data from the questionnaires were recorded and entered into a computer file for use with SPSS-X, the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (Norusis, 1983). Using this computer program, analyses of data were conducted. Means, standard deviations, frequencies, and percentage distributions were calculated for all items. Data were compared using t-tests for dependent samples to test teachers' perceptions of their background preparation, their sense of self efficacy in matters of evaluation of student progress, and impetus for change. Responses were analyzed using the

p < 0.05 level of significance.

The qualitative data received from the questionnaires in the form of written comments were recorded and grouped where possible (Appendix G). The responses were then considered for their direction, focus, and emphasis.

The process of student evaluation, as detailed by Saskatchewan Education (1990a) and corroborated by a review of the literature, was incorporated into a sampling of questions constructed for the questionnaire as an assurance of establishing congruence with the curricular thrusts in education.

The data collection instrument designed for the purposes of this study was effective in gathering responses in a format that allowed for the analysis and comparison of responses to the questions posed. Having both quantitative and qualitative data provided a wider basis of comparison of responses and served to validate the instrument.

The target group chosen for this study ensured a sampling of responses from the primary consumer group of the core classes in special education at the University of Regina, those who have completed the certification requirements for resource teachers as established by Saskatchewan Education. Gathering perceptions directly from the field gave the results generated from this study a basis in first-hand experience.

Frequencies, percentage distributions, and descriptive statistics were calculated for the items in the questionnaire. Teacher responses were analyzed using t-tests for dependent samples using p < .05 level of significance.

Questionnaires were sent to all members of the target group. Thirty-five individuals, who constituted the study sample, returned the One hundred percent of the respondents reported not having a Bachelor of Arts degree; 100% reported having a Bachelor of Education degree. questionnaires, to give a percentage response rate of 64.81%.

According to the information provided by the respondents, the range of overall teaching experience extended from one year to 20 years. There were two responses that were most frequently reported as length of experience: 14.3% of respondents indicated three years of experience; 14.3% of respondents indicated four years of experience.

Approximately eight percent (8.6%) of the respondents reported they were part-time resource teachers and 91.4% indicated they were in full-time positions. Of those resource teachers returning the questionnaire, 43% percent were employed in rural school divisions and 43% were employed in urban school divisions. Respondents who did not answer the question on employing school division constituted 14%.

Approximately eight percent (8.6%) of the resource teachers returning the questionnaire indicated that they had a post-graduate diploma and approximately eight percent (8.6%) reported having a Master's degree.

The largest percentage of respondents (11.4%) reported that they had students from Kindergarten to grade eight (code 21) who were receiving their services. Kindergarten to grade twelve (code 92) was the range of grade levels which respondents reported the next highest percentage (8.6%) of involvement in their services. Grade levels one to seven (code 28) was reported by approximately five percent (5.7%) of the respondents as was grade levels four to eight (code 47). Other grade level combinations reported by the resource teachers (all at 2.9%) were as follows: codes 00, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 29, 34, 52, 55, 58, 61, 65, 67, 75, 80, and 90. Please refer to Appendix F for the explanation of the codes.

Of the 56 resource teachers to whom questionnaires were sent, 54, (96%) were female and two (4%) were male. The percentage of females who returned the questionnaire was 88.6%. Among the respondents, 11.4% did not answer the question on gender. From the analysis of the data gathered on gender, there was no indication that males did respond to the questionnaire.

31 of the 35 respondents, (88.6%), indicated that they had learning disabled students as part of their teaching load. In the next highest category, 19 of the 35 respondents, (54.3%), indicated that they had students with language disorders as part of their class load.

From the results reported in the demographic information concerning total years teaching experience, the sample group of resource teachers are relatively new to the field of teaching. The total years of teaching experience of the respondents was compared to their years of experience as a resource teacher. The target group of Saskatchewan resource teachers had entered their position after they had graduated with the four core classes in special education and were certified. As well, they had entered their position of resource teacher near or at the start of their careers in the education field.

A further inference may be made from this information about the years of experience of the group of respondents. The Special Education Policy Manual (Saskatchewan Education, 1989) specifies that teachers employed in the position of resource teacher are to have the four core classes in special education. It appears that the school divisions in Saskatchewan employing the respondents are ensuring that they are hiring certified personnel.

As both urban and rural school divisions were represented through the sample to an approximately equal degree, (14% of the respondents did not answer the demographic item concerning school division), it appears that there is a definite need in school divisions for the services that resource teachers provide for students with special needs. This need for service does not appear to be more specific to either rural or urban locations.

The group of resource teachers responding to the questionnaire was compared by gender to the gender totals of all practicing teachers in the Kindergarten to grade 12 educational system in the province of Saskatchewan. According to 1990 statistics from Saskatchewan Education, 43% of the full-time teachers in Saskatchewan are males in the Kindergarten to grade 12 educational system, and 57% are females. Within the group of respondents, 88.6% were females. It appears that, according to the sample, females occupy the position of resource teachers with a greater frequency than do males.

An interesting fact arose from the demographic question concerning grade level of students in the respondents' current teaching assignment. Of the variety of grade levels of students that comprised their teaching assignment, grades four, five , six, and seven were the grades all respondents in the sample had in common. Perhaps by grade four, students with disabilities that were not physically evident would have been in school a sufficient length of time to demonstrate a profile of strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps the in-school performance of such students would have demonstrated a need for intervention by the resource teacher. The need for resource teachers to have the background in diagnostic assessment is of great importance in detecting early problems in learning that students may demonstrate. "The early detection of a child's problems may prevent the development of more complex learning difficulties later in life" (Winzer, Rogow & David, 1987, p.32). These are also the grades that precede students' entry into high school. Students giving evidence of prospective problems with behaviour or in-school learning performance may receive additional emphasis in preparation for the level of learning tasks that await them.


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Conclusions

The effect of the mainstreaming of students with special needs in schools is evident . A listing of what mainstreaming does and does not do within the school was detailed in a report by the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association (1989). It is clear that mainstreaming requires adjustments in several areas of teacher training for the role of resource teacher. With the classroom teacher accepting more responsibility for teaching the special needs child, the role of the resource teacher takes on more of a consultant’s role. Training in consultation and collaboration is therefore essential in order for the resource teacher to fulfill this role with confidence and competence. Incorporating more information on methods of effectively communicating information about student progress to parents and students would enable the resource teacher to fulfill the role of consultant effectively.

The presence of handicapped students within the regular classroom, participating in the new Core Curriculum of their peer group, will necessitate the construction, administration, and interpretation of curriculum-based measures in order to determine student progress. With Saskatchewan’s new curriculum emphasizing the more holistic development of the child and the processes of learning, the dependence on standardized measures of achievement will decline in importance for reporting progress and making decisions regarding program. A complementary emphasis will need to be established within the classes being taught to those individuals who will become special education specialists. In their role, they will be assisting regular classroom teachers with the task of evaluating the progress of special needs students within the context of the regular classroom.

Mainstreaming also sees students with disabilities other than, or in addition to, learning disabilities, being part of the regular classroom. As such, more emphasis will need to be placed on some of the more challenging, if less common, disabilities that regular classroom teachers will face in the classrooms of the future. In particular, more emphasis on the emotionally disturbed student would be of immediate value to those taking the four core classes in special education. A continued emphasis within the core classes on the non-categorical approach to programming for these students would be important for teachers seeking accreditation.

With Saskatchewan Education integrating information on student evaluation into its curricular documents and presenting its model of the process of student evaluation within these documents, it is of great importance that the content of the core classes incorporate this emphasis. The congruence between the preservice teacher education content and the curricular realities in the field will ensure adequate preparation for those teachers pursuing accreditation in special education.

Expanding the information base within the core classes to include such factors as the effects of student anxiety, student regression, and student learning plateaus would provide resource teachers with skills to meet these additional challenges so often a part of special needs students' learning patterns.

Based on the results of this study the following recommendations are made to Saskatchewan Education, the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, and the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. These recommendations may be generalized to other universities; however, it must be recognized that the study sample contained only graduates of the University of Regina, Faculty of Education.

School Boards

1. School divisions should make professional development opportunities that would focus on consultative and collaborative skills available for resource teachers .

2. The frequency with which the teacher respondents identified the need for school divisions to make available for resource teachers professional development opportunities that would help to prepare them to provide assistance to regular classroom teachers underlines the importance of such a provision.

3. It follows, from the results of the questionnaire, that school divisions should have in place a policy regarding student evaluation. Such a policy should have within it guidelines for the communication of assessment results to parents.

Saskatchewan School Trustees Association

1. The SSTA should publicize the reports and studies under their jurisdiction which would be of direct interest to teachers in the field in the area of student evaluation.


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Table of Contents


APPENDIX A

DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENT: THE QUESTIONNAIRE

DIRECTIONS:


This questionnaire consists of 18 questions. Each asks your opinion on an issue associated with teacher background preparation in the area of student evaluation.

Please circle the number which corresponds with your opinion of its perceived importance. The scale has descriptors and numerals to give you a range to choose from regarding the rating for each question.

Please answer each question.

There is a separate space set aside at the end of the questionnaire for any comments you wish to make.

Thank you for your time and effort.

CLARIFICATION OF TERMS:

Special Education Students include such students as defined by law in the Saskatchewan Education Act as : Orthopedically Handicapped, Multiply Handicapped, Mentally Retarded, Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired, Chronically Health Impaired, Learning Disabled, and Emotionally Disabled.

Students with Special Needs are in a larger framework which includes Special Education Students in the above-stated sense, plus all students who require adaptations or modifications to their learning environment.

Collaborative Consultation is an interactive process based on reciprocal sharing of responsibility for problem solving and decision making that enables people with diverse expertise to provide comprehensive and effective programs for students with special needs.

Resource/Support Personnel refers to such people as psychologists, psychometrists, speech and language pathologists, resource teachers, in-school tutors, learning assistance teachers, counsellors, social workers, and educational consultants.

Diagnostic Evaluation is defined as assessing the interests, abilities, skills, difficulties, and level of achievement of an individual student, a group, or a class, to determine the underlying causes of learning difficulties to make decisions about program modifications which are appropriate or necessary.

Formative Evaluation is defined as evaluation to improve instruction and learning. It keeps both teachers and students aware of the objectives to be achieved and the progress being made.

Summative Evaluation is defined as measuring student achievement for the purposes of granting or withholding promotion, reporting to parents, principals, and students, monitoring the overall performance of students, measuring the effectiveness of programs and measuring the effects of program modifications or changes.

DIRECTIONS: Circle the number which most closely expresses your opinion.

________________________________________________________

1. To what extent did your university
classes in special education give you
background knowledge in how children
learn?										
					1     2     3     4     5				
  				 insufficient		   sufficient
2. To what extent did your university
classes in special education prepare
you for setting standards upon which
to judge your students' progress?					
					1     2     3     4     5				
  				 insufficient		   sufficient
3. When you completed your special
education classes, how did you feel
about the amount of preparation you
had in assessment and evaluation of
student progress?					
					1     2     3     4     5				
  				 insufficient		   sufficient
4. To what extent did your university
classes in special education prepare
you to alter or modify your evaluation
techniques regarding the following:
a) student regression?			1     2     3     4     5

b) student anxiety?			1     2     3     4     5 
c) individual programs?			1     2     3     4     5 
d) student progress plateaus?		1     2     3     4     5			
  				insufficient                 	 sufficient
5. How effective were your university
classes in special education in giving
you a background of knowledge
regarding influences which can
cause depressed student
achievement on tests?					
					1     2     3     4     5				
  				 insufficient		   sufficient
6. To what extent did your university
classes in special education increase
your awareness regarding:
a) how a test may be slanted
in favor of either gender by
how it is constructed?			1     2     3     4     5
b) how either gender is likely to
do on certain types of question
content?					1     2     3     4     5
c) how racial bias can be found in
test content?				1     2     3     4     5				
  				 insufficient		   sufficient
7. To what extent did your university
classes in special education prepare
you in understanding:
a) the uses of diagnostic evaluation?	1     2     3     4     5
b) how to construct diagnostic
instruments?				1     2     3     4     5
c) how to interpret diagnostic
student information?			1     2     3     4     5
d) the uses of formative evaluation?	1     2     3     4     5
e) how to gather formative
assessment information?			1     2     3     4     5
f) how to interpret formative
assessment information?			1     2     3     4     5
g) the uses of summative
evaluation?				1     2     3     4     5
h) how to construct summative
assessment instruments?			1     2     3     4     5
i) how to interpret summative
student information?			1     2     3     4     5				
  				insufficient		    sufficient
8. Regarding standardized tests,
to what extent did your university
classes in special education
prepare you for:
a) administering them?			1     2     3     4     5
b) scoring them?				1     2     3     4     5
c) interpreting results?			1     2     3     4     5
d) understanding their limitations?		1     2     3     4     5				
  				insufficient		    sufficient
9. To what extent did your university
classes in special education
instruct you to prepare the
following devices:
a) checklists?				1     2     3     4     5
b) rating scales?				1     2     3     4     5
c) frequency counts?			1     2     3     4     5
d) questionnaires?			1     2     3     4     5
e) interview structures?			1     2     3     4     5
f) observation structures?			1     2     3     4     5
g) criterion-referenced tests?		1     2     3     4     5
h) self-check formats?			1     2     3     4     5				
				
				 insufficient		    sufficient
10. To what extent did your university
classes in special education equip
you to use your diagnoses of the
strengths and weaknesses of your
students as a basis for:
a) instruction?				1     2     3     4     5
b) further assessment?			1     2     3     4     5	
			
  				insufficient		    sufficient
11. To what extent did your university
classes in special education prepare
you for a consultative/collaborative
role in communicating with the
following:
a) parents?				1     2     3     4     5
b) teachers?				1     2     3     4     5
c) resource/support personnel?		1     2     3     4     5			
				  insufficient		    sufficient
12. To what extent were your university
classes in special education helpful
in:
a) choosing non-standardized
assessment strategies?			1     2     3     4     5
b) communicating results to parents?	1     2     3     4     5
c) communicating results to students?	1     2     3     4     5
d) communicating results to
classroom teachers?			1     2     3     4     5				
 				  insufficient		    sufficient
13. To what extent do you feel your
university classes in special
education were adequate for the
student evaluation demands of your
position?					
					1     2     3     4     5				
 				  insufficient		    sufficient
14. How do you feel about your own
student evaluation:
a) strategies/techniques?			1     2     3     4     5
b) overall student evaluation program?	1     2     3     4     5				
 				 dissatisfied		     satisfied
15. How do you feel about your
preparedness to bring about possible
changes in assessment, interpretation,
and reporting strategies with the
implementation of Core Curriculum?	1     2     3     4     5				
   				dissatisfied		    satisfied
16. To what extent do you feel your
evaluation strategies will need to
change with the implementation of
Core Curriculum?							
					1     2     3     4     5				
				insignificantly		   significantly
17. To what extent does the impetus
for change in assessment and
evaluation strategies come from the
following sources:
a) parents?				1     2     3     4     5
b) students?				1     2     3     4     5
c) other teachers?				1     2     3     4     5
d) school administration?			1     2     3     4     5
e) school division administration?		1     2     3     4     5
f) universities?				1     2     3     4     5
g) Saskatchewan Education?		1     2     3     4     5
h) Saskatchewan Teachers'
Federation?				1     2     3     4     5
i) Saskatchewan School Trustees'
Association?				1     2     3     4     5
j) yourself?				1     2     3     4     5				
 				   insignificantly	    significantly
18. To what extent will change occur in:
a) how results are interpreted?		1     2     3     4     5     6
b) how results are communicated?		1     2     3     4     5     6				
				insignificantly		  significantly
COMMENTS: Please feel free to make comments.

Table of Contents


APPENDIX B

DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION

Directions: Please fill in the information on the blank lines provided.


1. Number of years total teaching experience. ________

2. Number of years as a resource teacher or in-school

tutor. ________

3. Degree(s) held:

Bachelor of Arts ________

Bachelor of Education ________

Post-graduate Diploma ________

Masters' Degree ________

4. Employment:

Full-time ________

Part-time ________

5. Presently teaching in ______________________________School Division

6. Presently providing educational services to grade levels: ________

7. Gender:

Male ________

Female ________

8. Check applicable descriptions of students presently being taught:

Emotionally Disabled ________

Learning Disabled ________

English-as-a-Second-Language ________

Language Disordered ________

Orthopedically Handicapped ________

Mentally Handicapped ________

Chronically Health Impaired ________

Descriptions of students currently being taught continued.

Visually Impaired ________

Hearing Impaired ________

Multiply Handicapped ________

Gifted ________

Other: (please describe)


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